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12/19/19

Platelet-rich plasma and knee injury from skiing

Most of you coming to our clinic the past 2 months have probably seen me hobbling around with a brace on my left knee.

Well, that was the result of some heavy skiing at the end of February, which, unfortunately, did not end very well for me.

I tore three ligaments in my left knee after a pretty bad fall: my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) -90% torn, the medial collateral ligament (MCL) – 90% torn, and also my medial meniscus.

For those of you who don’t know, this is called the “unhappy triad”, for obvious reasons.

So why am I writing about this? Because I would like to share some interesting findings pertaining to regenerative medicine in general and my own recovery in particular.

Upon coming back home to Austin, I promptly started my treatments. I commenced my physical therapy/rehabilitation immediately. In addition, I started platelet-rich plasma injections in my left knee.

Platelet-rich plasma (PrP) is obtained from patient’s whole blood through a process of centrifugation that concentrates the platelets. Platelets are blood cells that are rich in growth factors. Upon injection into the affected tissue, platelets break up and release these growth factors. This has an healing effect and the tissue starts regenerating. PrP therapy became very popular several years ago because of its use by many well-known professional athletes.

After injecting PrP in my own knee first (which I do not really recommend!), I then had a total of four sessions, about every two weeks. I used the PrP concentrated through our own algorithm in our own clinic. This is something we have been working on for at least 2 years, to make sure we use pure PrP at the right concentration, sometimes not always available with the commercial preparations available out there.

At 2 weeks after injury, my knee stopped hurting altogether, and, through physical therapy, I managed to maintain most of the strength in my left leg.

I saw 2 orthopedic surgeons, who unequivocally recommended a surgical ACL repair.

Interestingly enough, after 6 weeks, I had another MRI of the knee. I would like to share some of the “before and after” images of my left knee.

Of course, some of the improvement is due to a normal healing process. But the consensus amongst the radiologist and also my orthopedic surgeon is this is clearly beyond normal healing. Moreover, the orthopedic surgeon has now recommended to wait another 2 months (at least) to re-evaluate!

Clearly, I am not out of the woods yet. However, I am determined to continue on this path and continue to monitor what regenerative medicine can do.

PrP is just one of the regenerative therapies out there. We also use stem cells, amniotic fluid growth factors, and alpha-2 macroglobulin to regenerate and repair injury and also for arthritis. Stay in touch with us to find out more on our blog and newsletter. Or ask us!

I will keep you updated on my progress, but keep your fingers crossed that I may get through this without surgery. If I do end up having surgery, these regenerative treatments can also be used for healing afterwards.

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